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The monster under your bed
Monday, June 12, 2006
If you have any young wage earners in the audience, I suggest you either shield their ears or turn up the radio, depending on their ability to handle scary stuff. I’m not talking about stuff like thrill rides, nightmares, slasher movies or imaginary monsters under their bed. I’m talking about the really scary stuff – liberal ideas about health care. Congress, in order to legitimize its intended raid on your future earnings, appointed a committee, the Citizens' Health Care Working Group. The committee, in order to legitimize its intended recommendations, reportedly went to 50 communities and talked with 23,000 people about health care and the proper way to finance it. It came back with the recommendation (and this is the scary part) that “Assuring health care is a shared social responsibility.” That will mean that no matter how diligent you are about preserving your health, you and the beer-guzzling, cigarette-smoking, couch potato who never saw a Twinkie he didn’t like, nor an exercise he did, are equally responsible for each other’s health care bills. Actually, your bill will be higher than his, because you will be more affluent than he, and the collective healthcare bill, like most other government bills, will be divided by ability to pay. Personal health is not completely controllable, but neither are other things for which we have insurance. We insure our cars to pay for accidents, but we pay out of pocket for the maintenance. We insure our homes in case there’s a fire, but we pay out of pocket for a new roof to keep out the rain that could cause a lot more damage. The only way to control health care costs is to treat health care like other essential needs: food, transportation, shelter, clothing, gas, electricity, phone service. I am absolutely convinced that the reason the price of healthcare is as high as it is today is that we have a long established disconnect between the consumer and the payer. About half of all health care today is already funded by taxpayers. Of the other half, some 70 to 80 percent is paid for by private insurance. As a result, there is no incentive to use the “insurance” wisely, or to practice healthy living. Can you imagine how irresponsible and wasteful we would be if we all received “free” health care, no matter how much or little we use? The only way to control costs would be for the government to ration health care. This argument may, more than any other, determine whether the United States of America continues to be the leader of the free world, or just another one-time giant drowning in a sea of wealth-stifling government spending. There is a monster under the bed. He’s not an imaginary monster. He’s real. He’s dangerous, and he can defeat the most power force on earth – the United States of America – if he’s unleashed. His name is Universal Health Care. Ralph Bristol
posted by Jack Mercer @ 6/12/2006 08:37:00 AM  
13 Comments:
  • At 6/12/2006 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    I disagree wholeheartedly! In fact, I can't believe the same man who posted elsewhere about grace posted this. If "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof," why then should some get better health care than others? I just don't get it. We're so free with God's grace and so selfish with "our" money.

     
  • At 6/12/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Helen!

    I believe it is wrong to legislate my morality. I don't believe in forcing my personal moral beliefs or obligations on others. Although I don't particularly agree with homosexuals getting married, I don't believe it is my business to empower government to ban gay marriage. Although I believe in helping people and that everyone should do it, I don't believe it is my business to empower government to force others to give at the level I do.

    I don't believe in theocracy or in social engineering. I believe in equal opportunity.

    Helen, I have to disagree with your last statement. I give thousands in taxes, but many more in charitable giving to spread the gospel and to give to those who can't take care of themselves. I don't force God's grace on anyone, just as I shouldn't force my level of charitable giving on others.

    Healthcare, wealth, food, clothing, transportation, and anything in life is not an entitlement. I don't have a right to anything in this world, and Americans have been brainwashed to think that they have a right to free services and access to unlimited wealth.

    Helen, do you go to work every day and provide your services free of charge? Or do you go to work for your employer and expect another employer to pay for it? I don't understand people who feel that they have a right to make a doctor work for them for free or get that service and make other people pay for it.

    As Christians we are to do everything in our power to help those in need--but we should never force others to do as we do--to do so would be legalistic and Pharasaical of us.

    Agree? Disagree?

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/12/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    What is "equal opportunity"? Seems we have the bodies and brains we have. If we cannot start off equal (which we cannot), then how is the opportunity equal?

    And if I implied that you were personally selfish, please accept my apology. I meant with gov't monies we are selfish. I don't believe in the "free ride": I just see people whose values and work ethic are different than mine.

     
  • At 6/12/2006 04:38:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    No apology, Helen! I know what you meant. I just wanted to point out that giving and doing for others is a personal value and to force others to live according to our values is not very Biblical.

    Equal opportunity is the removal of barriers for people to realize their potential. It is about self-determination. We realize that everyone doesn't have the same potential, and that is why we try to help those who don't--PERSONALLY, not forcing others to join us in our crusade (I have volunteered with the mentally retarded before, but don't think that everyone should be made to do it).

    It is still forcing one's belief systems upon another whether one advocates feeding the poor, banning gay marriage or forcing people to say the pledge.

    (Helen, I am not against safety nets, but I am against dependence upon government)

    Equal opportunity is not equal outcomes. It is like forcing the ant who worked all summer for his food to starve his own family to feed the grasshopper in the winter. We must differentiate between equal opportunity and outcomes because they are opposites.

    An example of equal opportunity is lining all children up on the line and letting them run to the finish line.

    Of course we learn valuable lessons from this:

    Not everyone wins, but those who don't learn valuable lessons if they are willing. There are those who sit down and quit feel they deserve the prize, there are those who go out and run harder to try to win next time, there are those who realize that running isn't necessarily their strength and focus elsewhere, and then there are others who were just made to run.

    In this race, if we gave everyone first place (equal outcome), then what would happen to the runners? The runners who came in last would think that they were meant to run, the runners who came in first would lose initiative, there would be those running who would never discover what they were truly meant to do. A mass confusion and break down of natural (can we say divine?) order takes place.

    We live in a world of cause and effect relationships, but refuse to acknowledge them--what is more destructive?

    Helen, I have used empowerment to launch young people to realize a potential they didn't realize they had--consequently if I had enabled their failures and rewarded them, they would have been content to stay where they were.

    A fundamental difference between what the "left" often believes and the "right", (allow me the loose use of these terms just this time) is that the left seems to want to enable failure and reward it, while the right pushes for acheivement and recognizes it. I have seen this repeatedly as I hear those on the left look at those on the right and says they're rich because they are greedy--not because they worked hard for it. (Making a SEVERE generalization here, so please don't misunderstand that this doesn't have exceptions)

    Anyhow, we'll continue this a little later. I'm out of time :) (getting longer winded the older I get:)

    Take care!

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/12/2006 05:58:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    These hypothetical people we're talking about are not children. They are not your students, whose lives you might mold. If they can reject your morals, why can't they reject your work ethic ? And what do we say, "Oops shoulda planned better, you die"? The only outcome that makes sense is equal, because sick people need a doctor, not an attitude adjustment.

     
  • At 6/12/2006 09:22:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Then I bet your dinner table is slam packed on Sunday afternoon isn't it, Helen--feeding those who refuse to work.:)

    Helen, I do believe in safety nets, but I don't believe in robbing people of their initiative.

    Just out of curiosity, do you donate your time and money to healthcare for those who can't afford it? I realize this is a personal question, but so far I have never found an individual who advocates social medicine who does. You may be my first! (Don't answer this if you don't want to-- Jack is getting a bit blunt in his old age...)

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/12/2006 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    No. I'm not called to work in that area. But without health care insurance, medical bills are ridiculous. (BTW, we don't have health care insurance. We don't visit the doctor very often either.) Now, watch 50 zillion people will track me down and send e-mail offering at low, low costs. :)

     
  • At 6/13/2006 07:13:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Ok, Helen, lets continue the analogy. You said that you don't have health care insurance and you don't visit the doctor very much. You are conscientous about your healthcare, and very picky about the medical service you receive in terms of price and quality. You are very responsible when it comes to your healthcare. With socialized medicine, the price for medical care is driven up astronomically--I lived in both Canada and Australia, both countries having "free medical care". Of course in Canada they let you keep 1/3 of what you make and take the rest in taxes, in Australia it is about the same. Both countries have terrible healthcare with little or no choice. Waiting periods for needed operations are months, sometimes years. Everyone in our church in Canada actually came across the border into the United States for their healthcare of consequence. (BTW, what WAS socialized medicine in Canada has become "insured medicine"--Canadians are paying more co-pays and contributing toward costs than they were before because the system is no longer affordable)

    Helen, universal healthcare may work on tiny scales, but in a country the population of the United States it would drive us into complete economic collapse. I have a real problem buying viagra for our senior citizens as it is--the worse is yet to come.

    We have in place health care benefits for those who can't afford them. There are many who can afford insurance, but choose to go without. For example, there is a couple in my class who eat out regularly, have cable tv and internet and are at "two pack a day" family. They have chosen hamburgers, entertainment and cigarettes over healthcare insurance for them and their family, fully expecting you and me to pick up the tab should something happen to them or thier children.

    It is because of healthcare insurance, socialized medicine, and abuse of both that healthcare costs are so high.

    Good to chat!

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/13/2006 07:57:00 AM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    Jack,

    All of this seems to be about money and about personal choices people make. I'm talking about the ridiculous cost of a single ilnees, operation, etc. I'm talking about needs. The present system prebvents people from living in the present, without worry about the future. The rich already have the best of everything (physical things). Why not put them in the line with the poor for medical attention. The present system says rich life is more important than poor life. And I don't think that is true. No one can ever give reasons other than money. No one seems to want to understand why people living in public housing (we live in our own house) buy a fancy,new car instead of insurance.

     
  • At 6/13/2006 08:47:00 AM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    BTW, I think we've kicked this one around long enough. We will be painting in the kitchen today.

     
  • At 6/13/2006 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    I like this conversation. Health care is obviously an important issue with no easy answers. Personally, I can say that I don't like handing control over to the government. Just look at their track record with anything they run! They screw things up almost all of the time.

    Capitalistic systems naturally result in those with better means (more money) getting better goods and services. A person with a six figure salary has a better chance of affording a BMW than a person making minimum wage. That seems "fair," in theory, and most people are willing to accept that. Health care, on the other hand, is a service that is frankly too important to be left to the natural laws of the free market. The consequence isn't that somebody "learns a life lesson." The consequence is somebody dies. I'm not prepared to start letting people die in order to preserve abstract economic theory.

    Having said my "socialistic" spiel, I'll repeat that government screws up nearly everything it does - so I don't think that "socialized medicine" is necessarily the answer. I think more pressure can/should be put on companies to insure their employees. I think competition can be fostered by cutting through health care provider red tape and giving more choices to patients...

    Again, it's not an easy issue, but I really do think there's a middle ground between complete socialization and complete deregulation.

     
  • At 6/13/2006 09:49:00 PM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    I couldnt figure out what to say. If I knew how to say what I wanted to say, though, I probably would have put it the same way as Smorg.

     
  • At 6/14/2006 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    I'll dedicate my next post to you three :) Its a doozy!

    -Jack

     
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